A Second Chance

Chapter 8

What woke Emma up, was the smell. She couldn't quit place her finger on it, but it smelled like a mixture of dirty socks, rotten eggs, and dead birds. Then she registered that she was being carried. Oh no, not carried as a damsel in distress would be, but as a sack of potatoes. Then the sound filtered in, screeches and growling, mixed with some foul tongue that she couldn't place.

Finally the pain registered. The back of her head felt like it had been split with an ax, she could tell that her hair was matted with blood and for some reason, the only thought she had was, How am I EVER going to get these knots out of my hair?

Opening her eyes, she had to bite her tongue very hard to keep the scream that threatened to spill out at bay. She was surrounded by foul creatures, they must be orcs, though she had never seen one and when she squinted into the shadows, she could make out the huge shadows of… were those giant spiders?

This time she did scream. She stopped when she realized that the orc who was carrying her had said something, "Shut your little trap!" it growled menacingly. Emma gulped and tried not to remember how she had gotten into the predicament that she was in.

Flashback

"Oh, crap."

Behind her, no, all around her, were orcs. Their eyes glowing eerily in the dim light. Emma screamed and felt something slam into the back of her head. Her vision exploded into stars and her last coherent thought was, "I am so going to eat grass if Sassyface even thinks about rescuing me."

End Flashback

She snorted a little at the thought of His Royal Sassiness rescuing her. At least she had her thought to amuse her. Taking in her surroundings, Emma wondered where these stupid orcs were dragging her. Probably some filthy orc camp, she thought with a scowl. Suddenly she was dumped onto the ground and her head got another nasty surprise, unfortunately, she wasn't able to black out this time.

She saw that the orcs were arguing with one another in a strange, foul sounding language. After about five minutes, the leader (well she assumed he was the leader, he was the biggest), whipped a knife out and held it to the throat of an orc considerably smaller than himself. After a short standoff, the smaller one backed away and the orc that she assumed must have been the one carrying her approached her, hauling her back over his shoulder. Oh, how she wished she wasn't tied up, that would have been the perfect opportunity to escape.

Legolas POV

He stared at the pool of blood for a moment and then whipped into action, ordering the guards to pick up the trail. It did not take long. For two long hours they followed it and when the got to the edge of the border, Legolas felt his heart sink at what he saw before him.

Closing his eyes briefly, knowing he probably would not ever see Emma again. He signaled the guards to draw back. He remained looking towards where he knew she was taken a moment longer, before he too, turned away.

Emma POV

After another thirty minutes or so, Emma was set on her feet and shoved roughly forward. Being rather smart, Emma immediately got the message that she was to walk. Turning around, even though she had never seen it, she immediately recognized the fortress that lay before her.

Dol Guldur.

It was huge. The very look of it emanated darkness and despair. The giant ruins were old and grey, slowly crumbling as time took it's tole on it. Emma sensed a darkness seeping out of the very stones and shivered.

She was shoved along the long bridge and it took her a few minutes to realize that she was shaking from fear. She couldn't help but remember the little Miri had told her about the Nazgul and prayed that their wasn't one residing in the fortress. At least she knew that the Necromancer wasn't here. As small as it was, it was a relief.

Two huge doors swung open and she was roughly shoved through. As much as she disliked it, she was not about to protest to the shoving. Her head hurt enough as it was.

The leader orc stepped forward and said something in a loud voice. A sudden chill swept through the giant courtyard that they were standing in, even the orcs were affected by it. Emma knew her hands were now very visibly shaking. Looking down at them (luckily they were tied in front of her) she realized that she was still clutching a flower. It seemed that the darkness was already withering the poor thing.

A sense of pure dread swept over her and she looked up. She felt every last bit of blood drain from her face at what she saw.

There, standing in front of her, was a figure that emanated more evil than all of Dol Guldur. Though it's face was hooded (she highly doubted it had one), she could feel it's eyes burning into her.

She knew, just as she had known that this fortress of doom was Dol Guldur, that this was…

That this was a Nazgul.

Nobody in particular's POV. Let's just call it the wall's POV.

"Ada! I do not understand! We must go rescue Emma! Not attend some council!"

"If it is as you say, there is nothing more that we can do for her. Unless of course she found a way out herself… she seemed smart enough. We cannot approach Dol Guldur yet. The time is not right," Thranduil replied calmly.

"Ada, how can you do this? She is-" Legolas continued treading the dangerous waters that his father's tone of voice warned against.

"ENOUGH!" Thranduil roared.

Legolas was shocked into silence.

"You will do as I say! Not only am I your king, but your father as well! You will attend the council Lord Elrond has called andyou will immediately drop the subject of invading Dol Guldur to rescue one, useless, ELLETH!"

By the time he was done ranting, Thranduil was breathing quite heavily and if looks could kill, Legolas would have been nothing but a puddle on the floor.

Legolas bowed and said in a chilly tone, "I will depart immediately, Father."

Thranduil watched his son leave the room and rubbed his face. He walked over to his desk and poured himself a goblet of wine. They could not risk an invasion on Dol Guldur. The time was not yet right. Though he sensed that it would be soon. He left the room, feeling tired and weighed down by the burdens that lay on his ancient shoulders.

Now alone, the wall mentally sighed to itself. Nobody ever talked to it… it was just another unnoticed part of the palace that was taken for granted by everybody. Mentally scoffing, it pictured what their reaction would be if it decided to suddenly collapse in on itself.

It would probably be rather amusing, at first. But then they would just treat it like garbage. No, it decided that it would stay standing for now, thank you very much.


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